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Wales could lure manufacturing from Asia, says former Sony boss

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 09, 2014

Sony in Wales: more manufacturing to the Valleys?

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A FORMER Sony boss said Welsh manufacturing firms could beat off Asian competition because of Wales’ preferential location.

Sir Howard Stringer said Welsh firms could get products quicker to the market than China could.

He also said big business should adopt the traits of smaller firms which have been “fighting for their lives” lately.

Sir Howard said that same entrepreneurial spirit at Sony's plant at Pencoed near Bridgend helped it win a contract over China to build Raspberry Pi computers.

Welshman Sir Howard told BBC Wales: "They have recognised the way to bring manufacturing back to Wales is to find a way to make it worthwhile for the Japanese company and one of the ways is the distance to the customer.

"It is a very long way from China. Everything moves so fast. The six or 10 weeks it takes to get the ship to the UK, your market could have changed.

"If you do your manufacturing in Wales at reasonable cost you have tremendous advantage on your competition in getting to the market so quickly."

Sir Howard, now a non-executive director of the BBC as well as other businesses, retired as the boss of Sony last year after being its president and chief executive.

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